We are now moving into the NFL offseason. There will be plenty of news and rumors going around about trades and possible free-agent signings. Every year we see a pretty clear pattern in the NFL. Some teams were good the year before, who sort of take a step back and have a relapsing season. Other teams did not do well the season before, have a great offseason, and are a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming year. This year will be no different.
Many moves are set to be made, mainly at the QB position. Today, we will be looking at some possible surprise teams for the 2021 NFL season.
Yes, it’s pretty clear that the Bengals are not a good team and haven’t been so in a very long time. However, there is hope if you’re a Bengals fan and it all starts with the QB, Joe Burrow. He went down with a really bad injury mid-season this year. He is expected to make a full recovery in time for Week 1 next year.
Burrow is not the only one to be excited about however if you’re a Bengals fan. This team is loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball. At the receiver, they have Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, who look like they are only getting better. They also have a pair of really productive backs in Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard.
If this team can continue to develop the offensive line, they can be a problem for whoever they face. There are some obvious question marks on the defense but that is what the draft is for. This may not be a playoff team just yet, but Burrow and the boys are coming eventually.
Predicted Record: 7-9
Dallas is coming off of one of their worst seasons in a long time. To start, they lost their franchise QB Dak Prescott in Week 5 to a gruesome ankle injury. At the time, they were 2-2 with Dak. The offense was certainly not the problem as they had to put up record-setting numbers week after week just to keep this team in games.
The defense of this team, however, was an absolute disaster. DC Mike Nolan was immediately fired after the season, which didn’t come as a surprise to everyone. While the Cowboys seem to be in a very sticky situation on multiple levels, there’s still reason to be hopeful if you’re a Dallas fan. The offense struggled big-time without Prescott last year, which should certainly give him some leverage in contract negotiations.
The Jones family and Dak should be able to manage a long-term deal before the season starts. Once Dak is out of the way, they need to improve the defense by continuing to draft secondary help. This is a very suspect secondary outside of rookie Trevon Diggs. If they can continue to develop at that position to the draft, it should only be looking up from here.
The last problem that Dallas has is the contracts they have. Zeke and Amari Cooper are making near the top salary of their positions. To build a super bowl roster, some players on both sides of the ball are going to have to either take a cut or renegotiate their deals. It’s pretty clear that Jerry paid some of the wrong people, and it showed last year. With an easier division than most teams, barring any injuries, this team should be able to win the NFC East next year.
Record Prediction: 10-6
New England Patriots
Yes, Tom Brady won the Super Bowl. Does that take away Bill Belichick’s coaching legacy as the greatest ever? That remains to be seen. They are coming off of an embarrassing season based on the team’s standard the past 20 years.
The first question they need to answer is obviously at the QB position. There is little to no chance that they go back to Cam Newton. They are going out to get a veteran free agent or draft the next guy. They may look into free agents like Marcus Mariota or Andy Dalton. These two guys have starting experience and may be able to help the team for this year only.
They also need to have an extremely good draft to improve immediately. The team is very short at the WR and TE positions. It was clear that Cam was struggling big time with this team, but it’s hard to believe that really any QB would be able to work with the lack of weapons in that offense. Bill is still the greatest coach of all time until proven otherwise; we should expect to see a big improvement from this franchise going into next year.
Record Prediction: 9-7